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‘Maguire’ mops up o’seas B.O.

The sparks flew in Japan over the weekend as volcano epic “Dante’s Peak” had a very good but not incandescent foreign debut, while in Europe, auds showed plenty of money for “Jerry Maguire.”

Among the other highlights of a busy frame, “101 Dalmatians” scampered into four Euro territories with impressive figures, “Mars Attacks!” pulled in $9.2 million overseas from holdovers and several debuts, and “The English Patient” wowed Australia and Spain .

Roger Donaldson’s “Dante’s Peak” grossed $1.8 million in two days on 183 screens in Japan. Rival distribs said UIP had trouble building awareness until the last week, and the title wasn’t perceived as an attention-grabber. However, word of mouth is overwhelmingly favorable and the distrib expects a long run.

“Star Trek: First Contact” launched in Japan (not a Trekkie stronghold) with a fair $762,000 on 90, and its cume in 23 territories ascended to $48.6 million.

“Ransom” has minted $12.4 million after the fourth weekend in Japan, and $154.1 million overseas.

‘Maguire’ in the money

“Jerry Maguire” grabbed $2 million on 203 in Australia (a Columbia TriStar record, beating “Terminator II: Judgment Day”), $2.4 million on 319 in the U.K., $1.9 million on 420 in France, $1.4 million on 189 in Italy, and $178,000 on 25 in Israel.

The only major market where the Tom Cruise starrer hasn’t clicked is Germany, where it fell by 32% in its second round for $2.5 million to date; Columbia TriStar is still trying to figure out why the pic dropped the ball there. Foreign total is $29 million.

“The English Patient” nabbed $923,000 on 84 Down Under, $631,000 on 94 in Spain and a so-so $131,000 on 25 in Sweden. The cume is $11 million, including a terrif $2.2 million in Germany and $1.1 million in Italy, both in its sophomore session, and $2.1 million through the third in Brazil.

“Dalmatians” checked into Germany with a solid $1.7 million on 600 (where local animated pic “Das Kleine Arschloch,” which translates to “The Little Asshole,” bowed with a smash $3.5 million). But “Dalmatians” seized top spot in Spain ($1 million on 157), Austria ($357,000 on 80) and Poland ($275,000 on 51). Cume is $83.9 million.

Routine ‘Romeo’

“William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet” unspooled in Spain with $490,000 on 116 (OK, but generating less heat than its perfs in Latin America and Asia might have portended), Indonesia for a rousing $236,000 on 45, and Norway with an unexceptional $141,000 on 35. Foreign total is $31.8 million.

Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!” vaulted to $28.6 million, buoyed by good second-weekend holds in France ($7 million to date), the U.K. ($6.8 million), Germany ($2.8 million) and Spain ($2.2 million). The sci-fi spoof opened in Italy with a below-par $389,000 on 74, but was more potent in Malaysia for $247,000 on 26, including sneaks, and in Denmark at $109,000 on 20.

“Space Jam” climbed to $95.1 million, paced by Italy’s socko $7 million after the third lap. “Evita’s” cume rose to an estimated $78 million, including a rollicking $2.5 million after the second stanza in Brazil.

“Metro” posted record preems for an Eddie Murphy starrer in Taiwan ($291,000 on 11 screens) and the Philippines ($245,000 on 40).

Scott Hicks’ “Shine” captivated Argentina with $225,000 on 14 (No. 1 in the market, according to distrib BVI) and Brazil ($170,000 on 30).

“Independence Day” hit $491.8 million, fueled by Japan’s $86.6 million, and including contributions from three small markets where the film wasn’t handled by Fox Intl.

Woody Allen’s “Everyone Says I Love You” moved up to $12.2 million, highlighted by France’s $7.5 million and Italy’s $3.3 million. However, in its second weekend in Spain, the musical fell by 21% for a modest tally of $639,000.

Turner Pictures’ swan song, “Michael,” has accumulated $13 million in five territories, including a fine $5 million in Oz, $4 million in Italy and a tepid $3.1 million in the U.K.

“Fierce Creatures” bowed in the Netherlands with a moderate $187,000 on 38 but bombed in Hong Kong; total in nine markets is $12.7 million.

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